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Thalestris24

3D Printers

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19 minutes ago, upahill said:

If your budget is flexible, and you want less headaches with features like self-leveling etc, or if you are prepred to go second hand then you cant go wrong with a Prusa either:

https://shop.prusa3d.com/en/3d-printers/180-original-prusa-i3-mk3-kit.html

Cheaper clones of the prusa are also available.

Thanks, I would definitely revise my budget if needed, the reviews seem good for that model.

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3 minutes ago, tooth_dr said:

Thanks, I would definitely revise my budget if needed, the reviews seem good for that model.

The Prusa are pretty much the "gold standard" for home 3d printers, a lot of innovation from Josef and his team that usually finds it way into the clones shortly after.

2 minutes ago, tooth_dr said:

Good prices, I use amazon as the returns are super simple so just looked there first but yeah anywhere from £160-£200 is about right for the Ender 3 - some are clones (usually branded as Hictop) so worth watching out for those. Some come with the BL Touch option for bed leveling but its not something I use, some people swear by it, others cant stand it - im old school and level up by eye / with a set of feeler guages. The prusa printers use a much more complex and reliable self levelling system.

Filament is the same, some swear by £30+ rolls of filament, I use whatever is the cheapest grey I can get (£9-11 a roll) and yeah I get a few failures but generally my stuff comes out ok if the machine is calibrated for the filament.

 

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14 minutes ago, upahill said:

The Prusa are pretty much the "gold standard" for home 3d printers, a lot of innovation from Josef and his team that usually finds it way into the clones shortly after.

Good prices, I use amazon as the returns are super simple so just looked there first but yeah anywhere from £160-£200 is about right for the Ender 3 - some are clones (usually branded as Hictop) so worth watching out for those. Some come with the BL Touch option for bed leveling but its not something I use, some people swear by it, others cant stand it - im old school and level up by eye / with a set of feeler guages. The prusa printers use a much more complex and reliable self levelling system.

Filament is the same, some swear by £30+ rolls of filament, I use whatever is the cheapest grey I can get (£9-11 a roll) and yeah I get a few failures but generally my stuff comes out ok if the machine is calibrated for the filament.

 

Just realised I'd be a bit mad starting off with a £700+ printer!  So I'm going to order the Ender 3.  Any accessories that you reckon are essential?

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35 minutes ago, tooth_dr said:

Just realised I'd be a bit mad starting off with a £700+ printer!  So I'm going to order the Ender 3.  Any accessories that you reckon are essential?

Makes sense.

Stuff you might need: Filament, more filament, oh and filament.

Calipers are handy too for calibration, cheap plastic ones are fine.

Tom Sanladerer has a 3 hour video where he unboxes, builds and configures an Ender 3 - may be worth watching / skipping through to get an idea of how its put together, etc.

 

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Once you have a 3D printer you can improve and upgrade it.  Then when you have more experience you can go on to build your own 3D printers and apply your own better engineering etc. (assuming you're a reasonably competent engineer).  A warning though - 3D printers can become addictive!  And once you've had one for a while you'll wonder how you ever managed without one.  Good luck and I look forward to welcoming you to the 3D printer club.

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Personally, I wouldn't advise buying very cheap filament - it can be very variable.  I was originally of the opinion, why buy a £40 reel when you can get a £5 cheap Chinese "equivalent".  Cheap filament can be very frustrating.  You just get your printer nicely set up for the filament you're using when the spool runs out so you go on the the next one of the same make etc. and find you are no longer getting good prints. 

Stick with one type of filament to start with, such as PLA and learn all the foibles of 3D printers before trying other compounds.  PLA is generally considered the easiest to start with - doesn't need as much heat, doesn't produce a horrible stink and is the most environmentally friendly - produced from corn starch and biodegradable.  Other thermoplastics are generally made from oil.  By far the nastiest filament is ABS.  Needs a lot of heat to melt it, a very hot bed and gives off poisonous fumes that you really wouldn't want to be in the same room with.

Best of British produced filament and as good as any is "rigid.ink".  Also very good and produced in The Netherlands is "colorFabb".  This is arguably as good as "rigid.ink" and cheaper, as long as you aren't too bothered about the colour.  Their basic ranges are only available in a few colours whilst their full colour ranges are a similar price (or more) as "rigid.ink".

Edited by Gina
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All this talk kind of makes me want to go and get my Formlabs printer up and running..... or sell it - havent decided which will be the least hassle yet.

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4 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

I've been getting my friend to print out the occasional part for me on his 3d printer, exclusively for astroimaging applications.  However I'm getting a bit conscious of asking him, and as such I think I would like to take the plunge and buy my own.

I feel like the guy asking 'Whats the best telescope to buy?' on the forum!

So any recommendations?  Something for small stuff, £500 or less.

TIA

Adam.

In this price range you may explore printers wirh dual print heads (with two nozzles. Please note, there are dual printers with single nozzles, aka "Cyclops" - avoid them).

Or, at least, check for printer with an option to get upgraded to the dual nozzle one.

I have got my printer in January, sadly, l didn't know about dual nozzle printers at that time.

This kind of printer will enable to print supports with other type of plastic (some even dissolve in the water, but expensive...), in other words, -  it enables to print all kinds of shapes with. 

I print in Petg mostly, l've read, Pla is quite a good support material for it (and vise versa), as they do not stick to each other...

Sadly, l cannot test it ;)

Edited by RolandKol
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I've had a single nozzle, quad filament system (on my Prusa i3 Mk2), but in the end I was finding it was too much faffing around, and very wasteful on filament waste towers etc. so I've reverted to single nozzle system.

And to be honest, to my mind, multi colour systems are just a gimmick, and are only really used to print ornamental junk....

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I love the idea of printable supports - and will get round to it one day, but I spend long enough faffing with one extruder :D

Maybe if I was doing it on a daily basis it would be worthwhile, but for now im happy with designing for not needing support and using the single extruder.

I did have the CTC Bizer Dual but the second head became used as spares for the first :D

 

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I decided some time ago that a dual print head was far too much trouble.

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I have almost hit the button on a 3D printer a few times but am waiting until they can print Bakelite or an aluminium type resin....

Alan

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All my printers have just one nozzle(fast interchangeable btw) never regretted it, never needed dual nozzle systems.
I always design/draw my own projects and draw/print in such a way I don't need to use support at all. Never used that 'Support' function as a matter of fact.

And as Julian said, dual colour printing is just a gimmick indeed.

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8 minutes ago, Gina said:

I decided some time ago that a dual print head was far too much trouble.

Have to admit I don’t bother with the second nozzle on mine. Can you tell which one doesn’t get used? 🤔

9B698C81-9E7C-47DD-A367-1C4E8CF8A772.jpeg

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It might just be the clean one!  🤣

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I buy bog-standard AMZ3D PLA off amazon for about £11-£14 a reel. Find it works much better than Rigid Ink on my printer. I suspect that every printer has its favourite filament.

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Yes I found that what works well in one printer maygive poor resilts in another printer. Probably has a lot to do with the setup of no two printers being exactly the same.

I find Jet brand filament really suits my printer. Rigid Ink was not that good. 

Edited by johninderby

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Most filaments will print with some minor retract, heat, speed tweaks. I use pretty generic PLA. Only come across a few that I’d nearly hurled out the window (one blue, one petg, one wood filled, one silver). My machines go though phases of working like troopers and then hurling random fits... one has started to fire out “printing outside bed” errors or making prints with step in..... ggrrr!!

someone mentioned Formlabs, nice results, good resin options, Just not big build volume and costly resins. I’ve fancied dissolvable  support, but have got too used to adding supports and fettling prints. I am also wedded to Clas Olson purple glue for bed adhesion.... though I am trying a flex plate kit soon. Dimafix is the way to go for ABS and other high temp materials.

have fun

Peter

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A perhaps worthy mention alongside the filament choice is the extruder choice. I had no end of problems with clogging, breaks, melted teflon etc on both the CTC Dual (MK8) and the Black Widow - eventually, reluctantly, sprung for a genuine E3D Hotend and just like that every filament/extruder problem solved. Hands down the best mod I have done.

I only use 0.4 nozzles really, but switching to the all metal type has made life so much easier now and havent had a clog since I got it.

1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I buy bog-standard AMZ3D PLA off amazon for about £11-£14 a reel. Find it works much better than Rigid Ink on my printer. I suspect that every printer has its favourite filament.

Very true. Couldnt get on with Rigid.ink myself, but Gina rates it well as do many many others. I have had expensive filaments give me grief and now use mostly Sunlu or Surreal brand cheap stuff. None of my stuff is mission critical or for resale though, so I can cope with the occasional failure/defect.

One thing I would like to do is make the move to larger rolls of 3mm stuff - if I could find a factory willing to put some 10kg rolls in our next container it would be a bargain for sure!

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I have metal 0.4 nozzles on mine and have no problems with clogging etc. although as mentioned some filaments produce better results

Biggest improvement in print quality though was in getting Simplify3D. Worth every penny for the results it delivers. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Edited by johninderby

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5 minutes ago, johninderby said:

I have metal 0.4 nozzles on mine and have no problems with clogging etc. although as mentioned some filaments produce better results

This is the style I couldnt get on with.... had them on the CTC printers
ptfe-tube-od-3mm-id-2mm-35mm-long.jpg.png.2d0edaf8f48d81c44685e67f5230aa70.png

The TEVO printers ship with a V6 clone, but as you can see from this diagram the teflon inserts still melt and clog.

e3dv6-clone1.png.c87b3027a835a34b2864ab278c21ec0d.png

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The new Prusa slicer is worth a look, i use Cura (ultimaker user), it’s gained a lot of new features and “twiddle controls” and seems a lot more regularly updated than simplify.

i agree with larger reels (j get 2.3kg  nowwhere possible), I end up with a lot of “dogends” in reels and hate just throwing them away.

peter

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Don't use it myself but the Prusa slicer is very good indeed.
In the near past we've compared a few slicers and the result was that the Prusa slicer and S3D were the best and gave similar results.

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1 hour ago, PeterW said:

i agree with larger reels (j get 2.3kg  nowwhere possible), I end up with a lot of “dogends” in reels and hate just throwing them away.

peter

This year alone I had lots of printing project and also end up with lots of 2.2kg reels with a few meters filament on them. Problem is I almost always print very large parts, ending up with all my reels containing a few meters 'leftovers' . 99% what I print is done in white, so I'm planning to weld all these 'ends' to make one new reel.
Think I've got an idea how to do that. Did a test a few days ago and it seems to work.

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